Remember that one time I visited my brother but really just went to Harper’s Ferry, D.C. and NYC in three days?
Yeah, me either.
Except I kinda do.
The weekend was honestly kind of a blur — I can’t believe I did so much in so little time!
I took a half day off work Friday and headed to the Greenville airport, and Clark picked me up in Baltimore around 8. Amy was basically immobile (thanks to Ben and Jerry … and being eight months pregnant) so we didn’t do much. I watched some weird nature shows with Clark until he went to bed, and then watched more weird nature shows after he went to bed. Night owl probs, man.
on the way to Baltimore
When I finally crawled out of bed, they had already eaten breakfast and we set our adventure time for 11ish.
We spent the day walking around Harper’s Ferry and visiting the shops and museums in the town, which has been preserved pretty well despite some serious floods from the Shenandoah. We ate at Private Quinn’s Pub, which was a little bit of a letdown, but the people next to us had a cute dog so it was alright :)
Most of the buildings have been turned into exhibits to show how they might have looked in the 1860s.
The back of this building is missing?
Model of the land when battle broke out
When we got home, we played Ticket to Ride. I lost terribly and Amy basically wiped the floor with our faces. That’s all you need to know about it.
After church Sunday, C&A dropped me off at the train station and I took a bus to the next stop (they were working on the tracks, so free shuttles were provided) and headed to D.C.
My main reason for going was the Newseum. It’s a news museum and covers the coverage of history’s greatest events and how the media impacts lives. Basically it was awesome and I needed more than four hours — good thing the tickets are actually 2-day passes!
Newspapers around the world submit a pdf of their front page to Newseum every night. Newseum picks a top 10 online and posts one from every state and a few countries outside for passersby to read. Charleston had the SC box occupied :(
Berlin wall display, complete with a 300-foot guard tower on the east side. You’re looking at the west. The east side was painted white to make it easier to spot those trying to escape.
A glass elevator at Newseum will take you to the top to enjoy this view of Pennsylvania Street (Avenue?). The Capitol is on the far left.
150-year-old New York Herald reporting details of Lincoln’s death. It put out seven issues in less than 24 hours — unheard of then.
The names of all journalists who have died reporting, dating back to the 1800s
My phone died while I was using it as a GPS to walk to the train station, so I missed the train I wanted — luckily they come through often. Thanks to my handy travel charger thing, I got back on the right track and was only tailed by one hobo! I was pretty prepared though, my boots could have handed it to anybody ;)
I will admit I was ill-prepared for this trip. When I looked at the forecast while packing, it said mid 60s, so I thought jeans and shorts would work. But then Monday I found out that New York City is basically always cold. Seriously. Does it ever warm up there?
I took a Bolt Bus ($23 for the trip) from Baltimore to NYC, took the (wrong) subway to Rockefeller Plaza and met my friend Demetrius just in time to use my Jimmy Fallon tickets. We stood in line forever and caught up on life and discussed our plans for the evening.
We were in the third row!
The guests on Monday were Robert Downey, Jr., Fran Lebovitz and the Zac Brown Band. The show didn’t even seem like a full hour, which is weird … because it is.
Demetrius MADE me go to Times Square since we were so close by. I was a bit hangry because I hadn’t eaten anything except string cheese and crackers since breakfast. But “you have to do it while you’re here,” so I did.
Look. Times Square. I did it.
Side note: When your tour guide was recruited to be a photographer for the mayor’s office, all the pictures look infinitely better. Even the dorky ones of you begging to leave Times Square because you smell food.
See what I mean? (📷: Demetrius Freeman)
A quick train ride brought us to Union Square, where we ate at The Coffee Shop. D said it wasn’t touristy, but the food was average at best, so I’m not sold on it. Honestly, it may have been that everything wasn’t deep fried and covered in butter…
Anyway, after food I was in a MUCH better mood, so we headed to the southern end of the peninsula, grabbed Starbucks because I was cold, went to see City Hall (where D works … and had an extra jacket) and then the 9/11 memorial.
Inside City Hall. 📷: Demetrius Freeman … again
Having just been to the exhibit at Newseum with its 9/11 exhibit, it was super surreal. Newseum houses part of the antenna from one of the World Trade Center towers, I can’t remember which one. It also has dozens of front pages displayed from Sept. 12, 2001 when America was still reeling from the attack.
The eeriest part of the exhibit were the photos from a photographer who ran to cover the plane hitting the first tower and died when the second collapsed. The family was able to salvage his film and shared the last moments of his life with everyone. There were no words for that.
The new World Trade Center tower
There were also no words for the two fountains that stand in the footprints of the two former towers with names of the deceased circling the seemingly never-ending water feature.
We went around 8 p.m., so the fountains were lit and the skyscrapers all around were just starting to shine. I can’t say for certain that’s the best time to go, but I think it gives the display an extra layer of beauty.
After the memorial, we walked across Brooklyn Bridge — again, just to say I’ve done it. Y’all, that’s a long walk. In fact, New York City is lots of walking.
Pro tip: Don’t wear your $12 Target sandals. And bring a jacket.
Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge. Not in the picture are Lady Liberty to the left and Times Square to the right.
By the time we FINALLY crossed the bridge, we had to head to Penn Station so I could catch a train back to Baltimore. All in all, I was there 7 hours. The weekend was almost like an out-of-body experience, especially looking back at Manhattan all lit up with the Statue of Liberty to my left and a friend I hadn’t seen since 2013 on my right.
I hopped on the train back to Baltimore — and had a police escort me out of the station thanks to all the riots going on — went to sleep, woke up and got on a plane back to SC. After a nap I went back to work and tried to pretend my feet weren’t throbbing.
So that’s that. I figured I should write everything down before I forget it all. May is full of adventures! I’m heading to Jacksonville, Florida this weekend to see Tessa and attend her second annual Derby party. The first one was in Texas, so I couldn’t quite make it. Anyway, I guess I’ll unpack my suitcase with jeans and long sleeves and throw in some shorts and swimsuits!